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Lawrence Miller

Published: Friday, Nov. 16, 2012 1:03 p.m. CDT

TISKILWA — Lawrence E. Miller, 87, of rural Tiskilwa died Thursday, Nov. 15, 2012, at his home with his loving wife Grace at his side.

Fondly known as "Tuffy" to family and friends, he was born July 23, 1925, to Edward M. and Harriet Anna (Morris) Miller at their home south of Tiskilwa. He married Grace Y. Lock on July 3, 1947.

Survivors include one son, Larry Miller of Tiskilwa; six daughters, Lynnae (Dr. James) McCoy of Clare, Ill., Sally MacDowell of Bayfield, Colo., Ginger (Deacon John) Murphy of Tiskilwa, Susan (Richard) Becherer of Elburn, Cindy (Mark) Beams of Campbellsville, Ky., and Mary (Joe) Bartman of Carlyle, Ill.; 19 grandchildren; 16 great-grandchildren; two sisters, Anna Mae (Owen) Mason of Neponset and Doris (Darvin) Brown of Indianola, Iowa; and many nephews and nieces.

He was preceded in death by three children, Dusty, and Edward and Loretta in infancy; his parents; and his brother Joe.

He farmed all his life, moving every couple of years as he and Grace rented the land — they lived in Tiskilwa, Wyanet, Buda, Spring Valley and finally in 1962 they purchased their farm south of Tiskilwa. He loved farming; he loved raising livestock. He always had the cleanest, weed free soybean fields (the kids walked the bean rows and pulled the weeds; and at the end of the summer there was always a trip to the Tastee-Freeze to order anything they wanted).

He would buy a piece of used equipment from Bill Holland, take it apart, clean and repair all the parts, and put it back together and paint it. The kids spent many summers helping to repair and paint equipment (stuff just worked better when it had a fresh coat of paint!) Except the baler — no matter how much work he put into that baler, when the hay was ready to be baled — the baler broke! (He had a lot of very personal names for that baler!) He always knew that as soon as he mowed and raked the hay it would rain, and it did.

After retiring from farming they moved to Florida and stayed for three years caring for Grandma Lock. He started making things out of wood — trains, pull toys, gooney birds, puzzles, stick horses — and took them to craft shows.

Along with farming, he worked many side jobs to bring home a paycheck, including the Community Feed Mill, Maze Nail Co., Terando Block Co., the Ladd Rubber Plant, New Jersey Zinc in DePue, laying pipe for the city of Princeton, Pioneer, Jostens, Harper Wyman and delivering pigs for Becherer Enterprises. He would hand his check to Mom and say, "Do what you can with it," and she did. He loved to go to auctions with his good friend Wilmer Sears and to talk a good deal.

Funeral services will be at 2:30 p.m. Saturday at the Norberg Memorial Home, Princeton, with Deacon John Murphy officiating. Burial will be in Elm Lawn Memorial Park, Princeton.

The family will receive friends one hour prior to services.

Memorials may be directed to the Tiskilwa Ambulance Service.

Online condolences may be left at www.norbergfh.com.

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